Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Central Wichita is an area that is usually pretty quiet, but it's recently became a target for burglars. These thieves aren't taking the usual items and they're striking at a time when many residents are most vulnerable.
Police say these burglaries are happening in Beat 31 beat in the core of Wichita. That area falls between Interstate 135 and Hillside and Kellogg north to Central. The burglaries are happening in the beginning of the week during business hours when people are at work. It's a crime trend Wichita police want stopped.
Wichita Community Police Officer Jason Dautrich is hoping that if residents in central Wichita know about these burglaries, they might be able to help police can catch those responsible. He and other officers have been going door-to-door, handing out fliers and making residents aware of the crimes and what residents can do to protect their homes.
"The suspects are going into mostly the backyards of homes. They're breaking either the back door down or forcing it open in some way or they're breaking in a window and getting in that way," said Dautrich.
Police are calling this area a hot spot because the number of break-ins has shot up over the last few months. In June, there were six home burglaries and in July there were nine. Dautrich says the burglars seem to be grabbing what they can before they're spotted.
"They are taking things that are easy to carry and hide and maybe conceal as they're walking down the street so as not to draw as much attention," said Dautrich. "They might just be on foot and trying to get out of the area quickly."
Dautrich and other officers are beefing up their patrols of the area and conducting undercover operations. They know that the more eyes they have on the street, the better their chances are they'll find those responsible for the break-ins.
"The main thing is being in the right place at the right time. It's just a matter of time before we catch the guys that are responsible for this kind of activity," said Dautrich.
Police don't have any descriptions of the burglars so they're asking residents to keep a watchful eye on their neighborhoods for any suspicious activity. Anyone with information about a possible burglary is asked to call 911 immediately.